Despite a snowstorm which prevented one of the Forever Charlie tour support acts from arriving at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 5, 2015, Charlie Wilson dazzled the crowd and earned the right to proclaim at the end of his show, “Uncle Charlie turned this mutha out!”
Following the opening performance by Joe, it was announced that the storm, and an accident at LaGuardia Airport, prevented Kem from traveling to New York City for the concert. Some members of the audience expressed their disappointment, so Wilson took his performance to another level, and the nearly sold out crowd left thoroughly entertained.
After over 40 years in the game, the former lead singer of The Gap Band continues to set the standard for R&B male artists. At 62 years old, he is a marvel, prancing across the stage with perpetual motion that would challenge Usher, Chris Brown, and other pretenders to the throne. During his 16 song, one hour and 45 minute set, he displayed his unique versatility, raising the roof for a funkafied party, and also moving the audience with his sincere spirituality.
Opening with his Gap Band classics “Party Train” and “Early In The Morning,” followed by his “Beautiful” collaboration recorded with Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg, Wilson captivated the Barclays audience with his unrivaled combination of awe inspiring vocal ability and magnetic charisma. Perfectly showcasing his six member band, four dancers, and one background singer, Wilson seamlessly segued from his Gap Band catalog (“Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),” “Yearning For Your Love”) to his solo repertoire, including his own hits “There Goes My Baby,” “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” and “You Are.” He also included “Goodnight Kisses,” “Touched By An Angel,” and “Birthday Dress” from his current Forever Charlie CD, and paid tribute to the late Roger Troutman with his rendition of “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
Wilson’s autobiography, I Am Charlie Wilson, will be published June 30, 2015, and during the show he recalled his rise “from rags to riches,” and his fall from “riches to rags” caused by drug and alcohol abuse. He languished as a homeless crack addict, but he survived. In his powerful musical testimony, Wilson took us to church and testified, singing two songs that represent conquering his demons, “If I Believe,” and “My God Is So Amazing.”
After touching all the emotions, Uncle Charlie culminated the evening by bringing the crowd back to ecstasy party mode with a Gap Band staple whose title describes his triumphant performance, “Outstanding.”
Reported by : Ken Simmons